Ceremonial Jingle Dancer


I accept this perfect poet award from Jingle. This is the second one I’ve recieved, and I am just as honored as I was the first time. I’d like to nominate Poettraveler.

Ceremonial Jingle Dancer

Sage smoke, rising, sinking
Tum tum tum of the drum
Sea shell necklace clinking
Reverberates a melodious hum

Pitter, patter, feet moccasin toed
Buckskin fringes swaying midair
Clitter, clatter, metal cones echo
Lone feather swinging from your hair

Tobacco pouch in hand
Amulet to promote healing
Great spirit to bless the land
More than just a feeling

Intricate footwork blazes a trail
Pattern of shedding snake
Health, again hearty and hale
Tis your interest at stake

Feet up and down on sacred grounds
Moving to mother’s heart beat
Happy and free, your soul resounds
Creator and dancer meet

I have watched Jingle dancers perform at Pow Wows. The are amazingly graceful and energetic. Simply beautiful. I can’t even begin to describe my emotional response. Within each of the imagery in this poem is a sacred meaning to the dancer.The Jingle dance is one of the ceremonial dances which is for healing. Legend is that a Jingle dancer is chosen because she has at one time been close to death and was healed thus carrying the ability to heal others. She hides a pouch of tobacco on her body or carries it in her hand as it is supposed to have healing powers. The snake shed dance pattern represents renewal.I can’t remember what the feather in her hair represents. But the cones and beads make the music. And is said they dance to their mother’s heartbeat ingrained in their soul.  They always burn sage within the sacred circle of Indian dances.  Sage is burned to purify and vanquish bad spirits.

52 thoughts on “Ceremonial Jingle Dancer

  1. Pingback: Thursday Poets’ Rally Week 12 (April 1-7, 2010) « Jingle

  2. That’s lovely! There is something so touching about someone dancing to the sound of thier mother’s heartbeat. So lovely!

  3. Beautiful poem. Reading the comments I was surprised to learn Jingle wasn’t familiar with the term. I couldn’t help thinking of my friend while reading this one. Anyhoo, you make complex lines sound like they were written with ease. Awesome 🙂

  4. wow, this poem is a piece of art.the way you described the dancers movements is impressive.I appreciate your good use of aliteration and onomatopoeia.well done!!!!!!!

  5. Very beautiful , Suzi.. very well done!
    Thanks for the explanation, I have never heard of it
    but there are other similar legends that I have heard of…
    CONGRATULATIONS on the award!
    Mine is here

    Me got awards for you, come on over here Happy Wednesday! hugs with love, shakira

  6. So beautiful! You really bring it to life! Love it!

    We went to a powwow a couple of years ago and saw the most amazing Apache dances! Also, the Hopi are wonderful, (but you – the public-can only see a very few dances of this mysterious tribe)

  7. CONGRATS on receiving this award, SC!

    And I agree….You are freaking PERFECT!

    BEAUTIFUL poem!

    And I understand the amazing power of Sage, because I’ve used it.

    Have a wonderful day!


  8. You have a spectacular way of creating images in the mind. Such a gift. Thanks you. I need someone to jingle dance in my direction today as I’m under the weather and fading fast. :-/

  9. I’m glad you added the explanation. I didn’t know the “Jingle” in the title was an actual dance. In (Arizona?) somewhere I saw a dancer with intricate feather arm wraps and a head peace dance for most of the noon hour with the sun directly overhead: his shadow beneath him looked just like a soaring eagle.
    Your poem created clear images in my mind that reminded me of this dance.

  10. We’ve taken the kids to a place here called Turtle Island where they do ceremonial dancing and then let the kids dance with them. It’s incredible.

  11. Pingback: Thursday Poets Rally Week 12+1 (April 8-14, 2010) « Jingle

    • I have always been interested in Native American culture. I started out posting poems on this site, and then challenged myself to a poem a day a few months ago. I didn’t think the readers here would all be interested in it, so I started a poetry blog as well. The link is at the top left side of the main page.

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